Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Reducing magic item purchases - how is it going?

We instituted the new magic item purchase restrictions in my last session of Felltower.

How did it go?

A few things happened:

Significantly Less Purchases

Because special ordering magic items, especially buffing items and casting items, isn't really an automatic process, the amount dropped off significantly. It went from a series of emails of "How much is this? How about this? What if it does X instead of Y and only 2*Z instead of 3*Z?" to "I'm ordering some custom cloth armor, I'll give you the math on Sunday" and "I'm getting one of those Puissance +1 weapons I've been needing."

So for me, that was a big win. Less work calculating costs, times, remembering who ordered what, etc. etc.

More Potion and Consumable Purchases

On the other hand, people bought a lot more potions. Cleaning out the house on Great Healing Potions for example, and stocking up on some of everything else.

Alchemist's Fire and similar items also went well.

Normal items sold about the same, though, mostly because people don't need-need them.

More Basic Spending

At least one person overspent on upkeep in return for bonuses to rolls in town. Living it up means you get more attention, and that translates in all ways. This went from "only do this when I really need it" to "may as well do this because I expect to make some rolls that matter."

We also got more spending on finding hirelings - suddenly 400 for a crier to go out and announce your job posting didn't seem crazy. They went from "only the guys who are listing themselves on Craig's List" to "let's put out actually ad copy to find real candidates."

More Generosity to Hirelings

Not only did people spend more trying to find hirelings, but even on a costly and loot-free delve they gave out tips and paid what they owed.

Emergency Funds Were On Hand

Critical, this one. Because Hjalmarr didn't break the bank spending all but a few hundred on new magical everything he had the $24K on hand to pay his Resurrection donations. The Good God giveth, but the Good God demand you giveth to receiveth.* Had he ordered all the stuff he wanted, they'd have had to take up a collection to pay for this, and possibly sell just-purchased gear and hurriedly try to cancel orders like someone hitting the "Undo Send" button on Google.

This made me really happy - not the dying part, although that was funny and I didn't think the magic ring's False Aura was going to pass detection (hurrah for poor rolls). It was rather the "we have cash on hand after a big haul." I was really tired of dead-broke guys a session after a huge haul, and the only time anyone had cash on hand was when they got some, but not enough, money.


So all in all, I think the rule did what I wanted. I feel bad taking back something that was an option the whole game, but it wasn't working out. The above is really what I wanted - occasional special orders, the good stuff being in the dungeon, and PCs with cash on hand to spend in town on the things I expect people to buy.

So I think it's working. The party should be able - after a big haul - to repair lots of damage, undo disaster to a degree, replace gear, etc. It shouldn't be firesale time because everyone is in debt up to their ears for magical items needed to survive delves to get money to buy magic items to survive delves.

So far, so good.

* Do not the scriptures say, "Let the poor man be welcome into my kingdom in the afterlife, and let the rich man fork over $15K or so to finish his work upon the earth and then be welcome once he's poor?" Probably not, but it sums up to about that.


  1. The Scriptures do say that, it's right here in the book of Marco!

  2. $15K for a Resurrection? Did you radically up the cost for cast spells or the energy requirement for res?

    1. $50/point seems fair. That's what a charged scroll would cost.

    2. A charged scroll comes with a bonus that hauling the corpse all the way back to town and getting him rezzed later does not: The corpse gets to get up in the dungeon and keep going with the mission.

    3. People who want to fork over $15K for a charged scroll of Resurrection-15, ensuring the money can only ever be used for that one thing (and only on a SM+0 delver), carry it with them, use it in the dungeon, which takes 4 hours and still leaves the victim at 0 FP and 0 HP, are welcome to do so.

    4. 0 FP and 0 HP are not the hurdles to continuing the adventuring that death is. My point is charging the same cost for in town rezzing as a scroll would entice me (and a few of my players) to do just what you suggest.

      I mean how many times has the crew fallen back and spent an hour (or more) recuperating before moving on in a different direction? A 15K scroll and an 8 point Initiate Ally is a sound investment.

    5. I'm not saying it's a bad investment. I'm saying it's got its own downsides. And it requires that you have a clerical caster to read it. I see two solutions - one that requires $15K in town, or one that requires $15K ahead of time, a clerical caster, 4 uninterrupted safe hours, time to recover after that, and pre-buying a specific item with that $15K. Why should the first one be cheaper? It has less downsides. Since I don't see any convincing reason why it should be, I'm sticking with Kromm's pricing.

    6. "Kromm's pricing"

      Where did Kromm list a price? I haven't seen one (or if I did it didn't stick in my head).


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